Biden to Hold First Press Conference in 7 Months

Daniel Murrah
Daniel Murrah
North America Correspondent @ Atlas News. X: @AtlasDanielM

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President Joe Biden will hold a press conference Thursday evening in a critical effort to change public opinion ahead of the election.

Biden’s Post-Debate Outlook

The President has been facing backlash since his shaky performance at the first presidential debate on June 27, which Biden himself referred to as a “bad night” in an interview with ABC News. During this interview, Biden tried to give an explanation to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos for his debate performance, saying, “It was a bad episode. No indication of any serious condition. I was exhausted. I didn’t listen to my instincts in terms of preparing and — and a bad night.”

Biden and Trump faced off for the first presidential debate on June 27 (Photo – Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden went on to clarify that it was not for a lack of help from his team. Biden told ABC, “Yeah, look. The whole way I prepared, nobody’s fault, mine. Nobody’s fault but mine. I– I prepared what I usually would do sitting down as I did come back with foreign leaders or National Security Council for explicit detail. And I realized– partway through that, you know, all– I get quoted the New York Times had me down, ten points before the debate, nine now, or whatever the hell it is. The fact of the matter is, what I looked at is that he also lied 28 times. I couldn’t– I mean, the way the debate ran, not– my fault, nobody else’s fault, no one else’s fault.”

The Public’s Response

In the aftermath of the debate, Biden faced calls to step away from the presidential race. The most significant of these came on Monday when Representative Adam Smith (D-WA), the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, became the sixth House Democrat to publicly call for Biden to step down. That list has since grown to ten. Despite the controversy, Biden has said he will not give up on his presidential aspirations. He told voters at a Wisconsin rally last Friday, “Well, let me say this as quick as I can: I’m staying in the race,” in a speech that fittingly concluded with the playing of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”

Biden speaks at a rally in Wisconsin. (Photo – Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Presidential polls still show Biden holding a reasonable chance in the race. A national poll conducted after the debate by the firm Bendixen and Amandi for Politico showed Biden trailing Trump by only one point, with Biden at 42 and Trump at 43. Tonight’s press conference serves as another opportunity for Biden to convince voters that he is worth their ballot.

Biden’s Road Ahead

Thursday evening’s press conference also comes in the context of this week’s NATO summit in Washington, D.C., where allies have been discussing ways to bolster Ukraine’s defense. This will include a one-on-one meeting between Biden and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, scheduled to occur today, a meeting of the NATO Ukraine council, and the announcement of an additional €40 billion aid package to Ukraine.

Biden speaks at NATO summit. (Photo – Reuters)

This will be Biden’s first press conference in 2024. The last time he took questions directly from the media was in November 2023 after a breakthrough meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping. Then, Biden announced that the United States and China would finally resume cooperation on counternarcotics operations in response to the heavy flow of fentanyl and other counterfeit pharmaceuticals from China into the Western Hemisphere.

Today’s conference will not be Biden’s final test before the election. In just under two months, Biden will face presidential rival Donald Trump in a second presidential debate, scheduled for September 10th. Here, Biden will likely continue to defend his mental preparedness and ability to run the country for another four years.